Friday, January 8, 2016

Finished Object Friday: Purple Honey Cowl

This is it, our first Finished Object post for the year. I have an agenda for these posts and said I would explain it on the first one for the year. My agenda with the Finished Object Friday posts is to break down the process of making a project. I will go over the pattern (if applicable), cost of materials, hours invested, and any adjustments, alterations, or notes I have on the project. Finally, I will use "the Formula" to show how costs would be calculated if the project were to be sold in a retail environment. 

I hope to help those of you out there who do crafts to be able to see that you are not alone! Other people are crafting and it takes them a lot of time and money too. Sometimes I feel like I must be the only person who is taking forever to finish something, or am the only one who has to start over for the third time, or I'm the only person in the universe who just doesn't 'get' the hype around something. 

Also, I tend to get quite a few people asking me "Can you make this?" The answer is always 'yes', but I rarely say that out loud. Folks, crafting is not cheap. And to make it worth my investment to actually make it for someone, I have to charge a certain price. And it ain't Wal-Mart prices. It's Luis Vuitton prices. 

I feel like quite a few folks out there don't appreciate the effort and time that actually goes into hand knitting a hat, or designing and sewing a jacket. That's the final purpose of these posts; to help people understand the TIME and EFFORT that goes into hand making an item. Hopefully they stop and think to themselves, "Would I work for $x an hour? No. So I won't ask my friend to make me a *whatever* for less than that." 

This one was a project that I decided to make for myself. The yarn was very generously gifted to me, and I LOVE it. After all of the hustle and bustle of getting Christmas taken care of, I like to focus a little bit on myself for the month of January and make some things for myself. This year, it started around Christmas itself (although I still have one present that needs to be finished and sent to it's home), and I finished this just in time for Tennessee to decide that it is actually winter. 

The Pattern

The Honey Cowl
Don't you love my model? I sure do! She's my great, wonderful, awesome friend from grad school, Steph. (She's wearing a Honey Cowl, just not the one this post is about.) 

This is a free pattern on Ravelry. I first found out about it from some lovely ladies that I consider my 'knitting mamas", Ann and Kaye of Mason Dixon knitting. The Honey Cowl comes up regularly on their blog. Recently one post was all about Honey Cowl hacks, which made me think to myself "Hmmm, I should make myself one of those." 

The Yarn

Heaven's Hand Silke in Plum

Retail price: $18 per skein on the Hamilton Yarns website
This is a lovely, soft and shiny yarn produced by Hamilton yarns. I've been blessed to meet the owner, Cornelia Tuttle-Hamilton, and she is a wonderful person. This is her first yarn that I have been able to use, and it took me awhile to decide on what to do with it. I felt like the cowl was a great choice for the amount of yarn I had, as well as a good fit for the yarn. Plus, I love accessories. 

The Details

Start Date: 6 December 2015
End Date: 1 January 2016
Needle Size: US 8 
Approximate Hours to Finish: 13.5 

I did not intend to change or adapt the pattern in any way when I set out to make it. The size I chose for this one was the biggest, where you cast on 220 stitches, and set out to use up as much of the yarn as possible. I used the handy tips from Kaye to help make this a successful project. I measured out the amount of yarn needed to do a long tail cast on, and came up short. I recalculated, and re- cast on and made it perfectly. However, when I did my counting row, the second row after cast on, I discovered I had only 210 stitches. No big deal, though, since the pattern repeat is only 2 stitches and 210 is still divisible by 2. 

I started out thinking I would use the stitch marker and measure out when I should start casting off. Then, as I got closer, I decided to weigh the yarn instead. I weighed what I had left in the ball, then knit 6 rows, and weighed again. I subtracted the difference, which was 9 grams. To be safe I decided on some wiggle room and knit until I had 15 grams left in the ball and did the three rows in stockinette and then cast off. I had enough yarn after casting off that I probably could have knit another pattern repeat, but it would have been yarn chicken. I wasn't in a mood for yarn chicken. 

The Formula

Base rate: Cost of Yarn + Hours to make (assuming $15 per hour labor) 

36+ 3.33 tax + (13.5* 15)= $241.83

Minimum wage rate: (TN minimum wage is $7.25)

39.33 + 97.88=  137.21

Wholesale price: 


My Personal Pricing Formula: 

Cost of materials+ Labor + 40%

39.33+ (13.5 *10)+ 40%=
$ 244.06

There you have it! The first Finished Object of the year. Hope you enjoyed it!
As always, if you have requests for projects you'd like to see me do, let me know and I will add it to the schedule! 

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